[Hpn] Homeless people PROTEST in Sacramento CA USA (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 3 Jun 2001 22:22:26 -0700 (PDT)


Homeless people PROTEST in Sacramento CA USA (fwd)


http://www.newsreview.com/issues/sacto/2001-05-31/bites.asp
FWD  Sacramento News and Review - May 31 2001

     DAY IN THE PARK

Dregs on display: There they were, out in Cesar Chavez Park, in the heart of
Downtown Sacramento, in all their grubby glory, demanding to be seen, and
heeded, and housed.

Sacramento's homeless population keeps out of sight as much as possible, in
accordance with popular and political will. They congregate in the environs
around Friendship Park on the seedier fringe of Sacramento, or in hideaway
camps
along the American River.

Those who venture into more proper and upscale parts of town are subject to
arrest or harassment for no better reason than the populace doesn't want to
look
upon their dirty faces and be reminded that there are still desperately poor
people living in the wealthiest country in the history of the world.

But with the support of their benefactors at Loaves & Fishes, the homeless
occupied the central plaza last Thursday, defiantly demanding to be recognized
as citizens with rights and needs.

Speeches and chants claiming the ranks of the homeless have been growing every
year while the number of places for the very poor to lie their heads has been
shrinking. Hundreds of homeless people ate their free lunches in the park,
then
banged on the doors of power, demanding help.

"We shouldn't have to beg. We shouldn't have to ask," declared Chris Delany, a
founder of Loaves & Fishes, in a fiery oratory that could have been spoken by
Eugene Debs or Mother Jones. "It should be the basic right that everyone has
shelter."

Such a sentiment seems quaintly and naively compassionate in these days of
cutthroat capitalism, an antiquated notion that members of a society have an
obligation to one another, and particularly to the weakest and least capable
citizens.

But who knows, 100 years from now, maybe the idea of letting profiteering
corporations and individuals exploit the masses will seem like a strange old
concept to which few can relate. We can only hope, and work to make it so.

END FORWARD

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